With a scoreline of 2-0, Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool were able to win in more comfortable fashion against Southampton. They now have to deal with a trip to Turkey to face Besiktas in the second leg of their Europa League meeting.
The Reds enter this match up 1-0 and should be more defensive than they usually are. With a huge match against Manchester City coming just three days after, it will be interesting to see if Rodgers will rest any of his players.
Besiktas will be missing two of the defenders who started the first leg, left back Ramon Motta and center back Ersan Gulum through suspension and they might also be without Demba Ba who missed their last match because of a calf injury.
Simon Mignolet was solid once again, which still feels like a weird thing to say about the Belgian. He was assertive when dealing with crosses and made sure the Southampton players would need to really work hard to get even a mediocre shot off.
He should expect a difficult test in Turkey since Besiktas players will be searching for any mistakes they can take advantage of to even up the aggregate score.
Emre Can will probably move into one of the center midfield roles during the second half, but should start the game back on the right side of the defensive line. Martin Skrtel’s leadership helped weather the storm during the opening minutes as Southampton got off to a fast start.
Mamadou Sakho will probably return to the lineup after an unconvincing performance by Dejan Lovren. However, he is dealing with an injury so Lovren may in fact get another start.
The defense should be expecting a much more aggressive attack from Besiktas and will need to keep Gokhan Tore, Olcay Sahan and Jose Sosa from influencing the match too much.
Left Wing Back
Lazar Markovic was solid during his time on the field but came off before the second half started since Nathaniel Clyne was providing some good offense from the right side of the field.
However, Rodgers may decide to play the more defensive-minded Alberto Moreno since Besiktas will be gunning for the win.
With multiple injuries to players who would be able to fill in for either Jordan Henderson or Joe Allen, those are probably going to start once again.
Henderson has been very consistent during this run of form for the team and he is looking like a true leader on the field. Allen was lucky not to concede a penalty when he made a foolish challenge on Filip Djuricic and he will have to avoid making any mistakes against Besiktas.
Right Wing Back
Jordon Ibe has been playing well for a while now, and one has to wonder when he will be given a much needed rest. He is still only 19 years old and in the middle of his first big league campaign. While the team may need his speed in case they need a goal, Rodgers should still consider playing either Glen Johnson or Javier Manquillo instead.
Predicting who will start in the three forward spots is simultaneously predictable and confusing. If he wants to field a strong front line, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho are the obvious candidates to start.
However, with the match against City coming just a few days after, Rodgers may opt to use one or all of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli instead. While the first three are more likely going to start, he should consider taking them off early to make sure they get some additional rest before the weekend.
Via – Lineup Builder